Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Are You a Boy, Or Are You a Girl?

"With your long brown hair, you look like a girl," as the old song said.

Wonder no more - a person is the "gender" he/she/xer SAYS h/s/x is!

This is a terrible way to deal with the rare individual who is sometimes called 'intersex'.

Those calling themselves men, who are intersex, have the usual problems of any individual with non-standard plumbing. But, they pose no problems for sports competitions, as they have no advantage over most males.

That's not the case in women's sports. Some of the intersex individuals have a clear advantage. It's not just the matter of reducing their production of testosterone for competition. They benefited from the hormone long before puberty - it's what gives them broader shoulders, narrower hips, and proportionately longer legs and arms - as well as height. Add to that greater muscles, along with the supporting tendons and ligaments, larger heart/lung capacity, and you have a truly unfair advantage over natural women.

Perhaps women's sports will never be able to solve this issue to everyone's satisfaction. Many methods have been tried - see the history at the link.

This is a different issue from those men deciding that they "really" are a woman, who take hormones to produce more feminine contours and appearance. Again, they benefit from the prior testosterone-fueled body structure. To allow them to compete with women is just going to shut most women out of the field.

Even limiting competition by weight, as is common in some sports, such as wrestling or weightlifting, means that those individuals who have proportionately greater muscle mass for their size - i.e., men - will dominate.

I doubt that ANY means of clarifying this situation will ever deliver a fair solution. The only other way to deal with it is to limit women's sports to XX women, and have upper limits on testosterone levels. Have a separate competition for the trans/intersex, and call it a day. Again, this is not really fair to the intersex-by-birth, but, then, nothing will be.

Otherwise, women's sports is dead.

1 comment:

Tracy Coyle said...

I always avoid 'competition' where I had an advantage because of my genetic makeup. I was encouraged to compete in golfing and skating and refused.

I can't imagine pushing athletes into doing so. It is fundamentally dishonest.